Armored truck couriers claim they are forced to use U-Hauls

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Armored truck drivers say they have been forced to make their deliveries in moving vans leaving them unprotected.

Employees say the company's marked trucks have already been targeted by thieves several times and they're afraid for their safety.

A video shows a day at work for employees at Total Armored Car as a courier loads bags of cash getting set for delivery.

"This is me and my partner he's loading the money while I am recording it," said a Total Armored Car employee.

But on the day of the video, the truck they are using isn't as armored as the name would suggest - it's a U-Haul truck.

"We had guys that worked there every day that would come in and find out what truck they were in," said the employee. "They would call their girlfriends or wives and let them know it's not an armored vehicle and if anything happens to me you know who to sue."

"It's crazy, it's dangerous," said another employee who wished to remain anonymous.

At least those are the allegations from two anonymous whistleblowers.

"I feel like they don't care about my safety or my life," the second employee said. "It's about profit and business as usual."

The Detroit-based company transports money and other valuables from A to B. 

Dallas Barr is vice president of operations.

"We are a family-owned and operated company since 1974," he said. "We take security very, very seriously. We strive to not do any rentals. We have 60 trucks on the road right now and four being delivered tomorrow that are brand new which $80,000 was a piece and that's the way to go."

FOX 2 spoke with a manager of the company by phone who says it's true when a typical armored truck breaks down; they replace it with a U-Haul truck, the same model anyone can rent.

"It's a very seldom thing," Barr said. "This isn't every day or anything."

"It's not armored, we don't work for U-Haul," said the second employee. "We work for Total Armored."

Barr says they only do it out of necessity and when they use a U-Haul, the drivers don't carry as much money with them.

And as far as safety goes, FOX 2 was told who would mistake a U-Haul truck for an armored vehicle and that being stealthy equals being safe.

But a photo shows a Total Armored Car logo put on a U-Haul truck, although Barr questioned its authenticity.

"I am wondering if that is a set-up and someone grabbed and slapped it on or something," he said. "You never know."

"It's terrible, this needs to be brought to the front," an employee said. "Let people see what this company is really all about."

The whistleblowers tell us they have the right to refuse driving a U-Haul if they want... but they do so at their own risk.

"They tell you to go home or you’re suspended or you’re fired or something like that," an employee said.

"We talked about and if there is someone who objects about it, going out in an unmarked or a rental, they don't do it," Barr said. "They get re-allocated to an armored vehicle."

Barr says they have been under union negotiations and feels that could be motivation these whistleblowers.